LAMOTTE, Étienne

LAMOTTE, Étienne. Dinant 21.2.1903 — Brussels 5.5.1983. Monseigneur. Belgian Indologist and Catholic Priest. Professor in Louvain. Born in a big family as the son of the court officer and historian Georges L. (1861–1952). After classical education in Dinant took ecclesiastic career like his brother. Now studied classical languages and scholastic philosophy at Malines Seminary and at Louvain University (now also IE linguistics under Carnoy). In 1923 graduated (Baccalaureat) in Tomism. in 1925 (lic.) in Oriental languages. He was ordained and studied theology in Rome, Sent to Rome in 1927 he also continued Sanskrit at La Sapienzà under Formichi. Back in Louvain he became a schoolteacher and continued his studies under La Vallée Poussin in Brussels, visiting him regularly until his death in 1938. Dr. ling. orient. 1929, Dr. en philos. et lettres 1930 Louvain. In 1931–32 further studies in Paris under Lévi, Foucher, Przyluski, Lalou and Demiéville. In 1932–59 taught at Catholic University in Louvain Greek, Sanskrit and “Buddhist languages”, from 1937 as ord. Professor. In 1959 gave up classical philology, in 1974 retired. Visiting Lecturer 1951 Paris, 1959 Venice and Rome, 1963 London, 1971 Göttingen, 1977 Japan. From 1951 corresponding and 1959 ordinary member of Académie royale des sciences. Monseigneur 1964. Dr. h.c. 1967 Rome. Died after long illness.

In addition to Sanskrit, ÉL learnt soon Chinese and Tibetan and started publishing lost Sanskrit works preserved in translations. His famous magnum opus is the French translation of the Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra, made from the Chinese version. Himself visited Asia only in 1977 (Japan).

Publications: diss. Notes sur la Bhagavadgītā. 10+153 p. P. 1929.

– “L’Ālaya-vijñāna. Le Réceptacle dans le Mahāyāna-Saṁgraha, chap. II.”, Mél. chinois & bouddh. 3, 1934-35, 169-225.

ed. in Tibetan & transl.: Explication des mystères. Samdhi-nirmocana-sūtra. 278 p. Univ. de Louvain, Recueil des travaux 2:34. Lv. 1935; “Le Traité de l’Acte de Vasu­bandhu”, Mél. chinois & bouddh. 4, 1936, 151-263; Vasubandhu: Karma­siddhi­prakaraṇa. English transl. by L. M. Pruden, K. The treatise on action. 131 p. Berkeley 1988.

Asaṅga. Mahāyānasaṁgraha. La somme du grand vehicle. 1-2. 72+345 p. Bibl. du Muséon 7. 1938-39, new ed. 1. Versions tibétaine et chinoise (Hiuan-Tsang). 107 p. 21 pl. 2. Trad. et commentaire. 426 p. Publ. l’Inst. Or. Louvain 8. Lv. 1973.

translated: Nāgārjuna: Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra. Le traite de la grande vertu de sagesse. Tomes 1-2. Chapitres 1 à 30. 1118 p. Louvain 1944-49; Tome 3. Chap. 31 à 42. Avec une nouvelle introd. 683 p. (lxviii, 1119-1734) Publ. de l’Inst. Or. de Louvain 2. Louvain 1970; Tome 4. Chap. 42 (suite) à 48. p. 1735-2162. Ibid. 12. Leuven 1976; Tome 5. Chap. 49-52, et chap. 20 (2e serie). p. 2163-2451. Ibid. 24. Louvain 1980. New ed. of 1-2. Ibid. 25-26. Louvain 1981.

– “La legende du Bouddha”, RHR 134, 1947-48, 37-71; “Sur la formation du Mahāyāna”, Asiatica. Fs. Fr. Weller. Lp. 1954, 377-396.

– “Alexandre et le bouddhisme”, BEFEO 44:1, 1951, 147-162; “Les premières relations entre l’Inde et l’Occident”, Nouv. Clio 5, 1953, 80-118; “De quelques influences grecques et scythes sur le bouddhisme”, CRAI 1956, 485-504.

Histoire du bouddhisme indien. Des origines à l’ère Śaka. 862 p. Bibliothèque du Muséon 43. Louvain 1958; English transl. History of Indian Buddhism. by S. Webb-Boin. 870 p. 30 pl. Publ. de l’Inst. Or. de Louvain 36. Louvain 1988.

Lo spirito del Buddhismo Antico. 63 p. Venezia & Roma 1959, Engl. tr. ib. 1961.

transl.: Vimalakīrtinirdeśa. L’enseignement de Vimalakīrti. Traduit et annoté. 488 p. Bibl. du Muséon 51. Lv. 1962; reimpression, Publ. de l’Inst. Or. de Louvain 35. Louvain-la-Neuve 1987; English transl. by S. Boin, V. The teachings of V. 451 p. S.B.B. 32. L. 1976.

transl.: Śūraṁgamasamādhisūtra. La concentration de la Marche héroique. 308 p. Mél. chinois & bouddh. 13. Louvain 1965.

– “Vajrapāṇi en Inde”, Mél. Demiéville. P. 1966, 113-159.

Introduction à l’étude du bouddhisme Indien. 1. 122 p. Rome 1970; English tr. Towards the Meeting with Buddhism. 1. 1970; Norwegian tr. by P. Kværne: Buddhas Vei. Flekkefjord 1981.

– “Le Bouddhisme de Śākyamuni”, NGAW 1983:4, 83-120.

a number of articles (54 until 1977) and reviews in Le Muséon, Bull. de l’Acad. roy. de Belgique, BSOAS etc.

Sources: H. Bechert, Numen 32, 1985, 119-129 with additions to bibliography; D. Donnet in Mélanges Lamotte 1980, vii-xvi with bibliography; H. Durt, BEFEO 74, 1985, 1-28 (with photo) and in Eastern Buddhist 17, 1984, 145-149; *P. M. Duval, CRAI 1983, 296f.; P. Servais, D.O.L.F. 556f.; *Premier colloque Étienne Lamotte, Bruxelles et Liège 24-27 septembre 1989. 173 p. Publ. de l’Inst. Orientaliste de Louvain 42. Louvain 1993; Wikipedia.

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